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Symphonies 33 36 & 39 - Musik Series

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 13 2004)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0002HACNG
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #352,492 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b9e4b7c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By David Saemann - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I heard Eugen Jochum conduct the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 1974 in Mozart's "Jupiter," a performance also enshrined on a DG LP. He was a simply wonderful Mozartian. The performances on this CD are absolutely marvelous. I believe he recorded No. 36 in stereo in Amsterdam for Philips, but the mono sound on this CD is so vivid that there really is no need to search out the later recording. Jochum was the founder of the Bavarian Radio Symphony, and what one hears here is an orchestra with a beautiful sense of ensemble playing, so crucial for Mozart. There is a glow over the performances, especially in the lovely wind playing--just the thing for No. 39. I really can't think of better recordings than these. Bruno Walter seems lumpy by comparison, and George Szell's No.39 is somewhat antiseptic sounding, too. We can only hope that more Mozart recordings by this team will surface.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b6059f0) out of 5 stars Three Outstanding Mozart Symphonies by Jochum and the BRSO March 27 2016
By Huntley Haverstock - Published on
Format: Audio CD
In 2016, you are decidedly out of the Zeitgeist if you favor the "big band" approach to the high classical masterpieces of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. Today, our top critics (at least in the USA) fawn over the limp, sour-toned performances of Rene Jacobs and his ilk, while savaging the supposedly "ignorant" readings of yesteryear, without any regard, it seems, for whether these performances contain any inspiration, charm, or dare I say, spirituality. "Authenticity" has become a cloak concealing all manner of weak, unmusical performances, and if a conductor manages to bring Mozart closer to earth, so much the better. No longer is this music expected to soar, to inspire. Since All Gods are Dead, why should we play Mozart as if he was anything more than just a dirty minded little man with a talent for show tunes? This is where Western Culture stands in 2016. Excuse me while I set myself on fire.

"Clarity" is often the trump card played by HIP partisans who claim that only with eighteenth century instruments and techniques can we possibly hear everything Mozart wrote. Fiddlesticks. The truth is that there were several "Big Band" conductors capable of bringing out the same level of detail in this music - and with infinitely more musicality and beauty of tone - as their "authentic" counterparts: Szell, Klemperer, Krips, Mackerras, Jochum, Bohm. Sadly, their music is often ignored or treated with disdain by the doyens of classical music criticism. When inspiration and feeling no longer count in this music - when musical energy is reduced to mere pace, and silly academic gimmicks replace deeply felt playing - we have truly squandered our inheritance. When we entrust the future of this music to the likes of Rene Jacobs, we are letting the barbarians in through the front door.

This recording, made by Eugen Jochum and his BRSO in the 1950's, is a wonderful antidote to the weak, low-calorie offerings of Rene Jacobs and other smug "artistes" who have gleefully reduced Mozart to a mere flesh and blood . These performances, in the words of reviewer David Saemann, are indeed "bracing." Recorded and remastered in excellent mono sound, there is ample precision, clarity, power, emotion - and spirituality - on offer. Furthermore, DG has done a wonderful job in burnishing the sound of these performances - the result is a clean, vivid sound that is barely distinguishable from stereo.

Like the Concertgebouw (with whom Jochum made equally sublime stereo recordings of the Prague and the Linz: Mozart: Symphony No. 36 "Linz" & No. 38 "Prague") the BRSO strings are amazing to behold. They play with precision and sharpness of attack. The cellos and basses are well represented, providing a crucial foundation of bass that gives these performances resonance and power that is either hard to hear, or completely absent from most HIP offerings.

Jochum eschews the repeats in K.319, which gives the performance a certain symmetry, especially when the hunting Finale comes along at a quick (but not injudicious) pace. Again, the clarity, precision, and warm tone of the BRSO strings are simply wonderful. In the Linz, Jochum does take an exposition repeat in the Allegro - but this is a larger work, with stem winding phrases and a lot of themes stuffed into it, so it works well. Again, the sharp attack and depth of the BRSO strings drive the music forward in the Allegro. The Andante is well judged, moving along at a graceful pace, with plenty to savor along the journey. The K.425 Finale is bursting with joy as the strings shine, providing razor-like attack, jet propulsion, and deep voiced power from treble to bass. The development section in the final movement is full of drive and power - again Jochum's strings set this performance apart from the pack.

Why DG omitted the great K.543 from the cover art of this album is a mystery. It's certainly not filler, and the performance is just as awesome as that of the Linz and K.319. Again, the BRSO strings are transcendent, but in K.543 the woodwinds play a central part, and Jochum does not disappoint. The clarinets and bassoons, in particular, are spellbinding in both the Andante and the Trio section of the third movement (in the latter the winds and brass convey the rustic charm and sound of a "rusty squeezebox" as well as any other performance of the K.543 that I've heard). The Finale is played with feisty attack and effervescence by the BRSO, with Mozart's playful clarinet, flute and bassoon lines providing spashes of coloring to go along with the raw power and energy of the string sections.

This is great ensemble playing. Recorded and mastered in the very best possible mono sound, this is a winner all the way. Don't surrender this music to the barbarians! Put your trust in Jochum, Szell, Krips, Klemperer, etc - and be happy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b661f0c) out of 5 stars Jochum the Great Feb. 22 2012
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The quest for immortality has led to extravagance over time - but the latter has the final say. Perhaps Jochum was hoping that his Bruckner cycles would serve as a pyramid and keep his memory evergreen. In the eyes of many - though not all by any means - the ruined Pyramid of Djedefre comes to mind (particularly in reference to the EMI set): what is the point of faux-Furtwangler?. Elsewhere, his Haydn and Beethoven are thoroughly B (to B+) grade and little else comes to mind.

But these recordings could be his monument at Giza. To my ears, it is manifestly Jochum's best disc. Joy is regnant. The power and articulation of the strings throughout are a marvel but not to the point where the woodwind is submerged in soup. The rhythmic bounce is infectious; tempi are astute and ruinous gear-changes are absent. There is no point rhapsodising on about this disc at any length: it's gun stuff.

Please note, contrary to the cover, this disc also includes the great E Flat Symphony, K 543. Jochum observes the exposition repeat in the first movement and thankfully so. With its miraculous interplay of clarinets, the slow moment would daunt Merlin. As we all know, the Trio is one of the wonders of the world: this performance is worthy of the conception. It is vividly alive.

The recordings date from the Fifties. Wizardry has transformed them into near-stereo.

Hail Pharaoh!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f82a21c) out of 5 stars Magnificent Mozart March 13 2005
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I am loving DG's new "Musik...Sprache der Welt" series! Sure a few of the titles feature selections that have already been or continue to be available on other CDs (see my reviews of the Schubert Markevitch and Schumann Furtwangler titles), but the vast majority of these performances have been languishing in the vaults for far too long. Of course, the fact that these discs sell at mid-price when comparable classic historical performances from the EMI and Decca archives sell on labels like Testament for full-price, makes this series all the more worthwhile.

Conductor Eugen Jochum is known to most as one of the great interpreters of Bruckner, but he also recorded wonderful accounts of the Symphonies of Beethoven, Haydn (see my reviews) and Mozart among others. This CD features him leading the Bavarian RSO in performances of Mozart's Symphonies Nos. 33, 36 & 39 from 1954-55. These mono accounts were the DG standard until Bohm's stereo recordings replaced them, and they are still wonderful to hear today fifty years later. I would like to commend DG/Universal on producing another fine classical music series in "Musik...Sprache der Welt." Thanks for reminding us that there are still some great recordings that need to be reissued, and that we shouldn't have to pay a small fortune to hear them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9baf65c4) out of 5 stars three big winners June 17 2012
By Jon Miller ('Kirk') - Published on
Format: Audio CD
but especially the hitherto difficult to obtain #39. I wore out two or three US Decca lps of EJ's BRSO #s 39 and 40- they became uncoupled until a short lived Japanese CD (39, 40, EK Nachtmusik). Like 36 and 33 here, EJ uses a reduced orchestra whiich produces diaphonous textures and consistent clarity ( with especially great winds in the second movement. #36 is also very fine, and Jochum does take the first movement as quickly as the score directs. I would like it about 30 seconds slower. The slighter #33 encounters no such problems- it was also a favorite of Szell and both Kleibers. EJ's BRSO 40 is still scarce, alas

Peers #39: Szell, Kubelik/BRSO, Jochum/Bamberg SO, Klemperer/Testament and EMI, Sawallisch/Czech PO
#36: Jochum/RCO, Tate/ECO, Kubelik/BRSO, Dohnanyi/Cleveland
#33 Szell, Carlos Kleiber, Tate, Krips/RCO, Bohm/BPO